GRAND RAPIDS — I am getting tired of watching officials in the NFL make mistakes that high school officials would not make.

The two penalty types that really burn me nowadays are pass interference penalties and roughing the passer penalties.

How often early in games do you watch as officials keep their hands off their flags for the most part and let the teams play. Only the most flagrant of penalties are called.

Then, when the game is in crunch time you can’t keep officials’ hands off their yellow flags. There is an infraction on nearly every play and the flags ultimately decide the outcome of games.

The pass interference penalty is easily the most inconsistent of officials’ calls. What one official deems pass interference, another will scoff at it and let it ride.

Truthfully, you never know what call you will get. The worst calls are pass interference calls in the end zone with the ball placed on the one yard line. The calls are so inconsistent that it makes one shake his head.

Then, the calls of roughing the passer are getting ridiculous. While some of the calls are correct, many of them involve incidental contact.

I guess it gets you to appreciate the quarterbacks in the old NFL who had to endure cheap shot after cheap shot without a flag coming out. It took guts to stay in the pocket back in the day and only the best succeeded.

Staying with football, the Vikings head into the offseason with a bunch of question marks. Will all players return or is the rumor that Anthony Barr will be jettisoned due to salary reasons true? Will Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce’s return give the Vikings a defensive line that can put the pressure on a quarterback while also stopping the run?

Who are they going to get to replace kicker Dan Bailey? Bailey’s missed kicks in the season finale against the Lions didn’t cost the Vikings the game but easily could have. Once one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, Bailey is now ready for the kicker scrap heap. He will probably emerge on another team next season and kick well.

That’s the life of a kicker.

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With the playoffs beginning in the NFL this week, it is time to pick the winners.

I would really like to pick the Chiefs to repeat but knowing how tough it is and the Chiefs’ play late in the season, I will pick Buffalo to reach the Super Bowl from the AFC.

It will be the Packers in the NFC with Green Bay winning the Super Bowl.

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